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Forunderligt (How Wonderful)
Svend S SCHULZ (1913-1998) Denmark Revisited - Four Choral Songs in the Danish Lyric style: Wild Flowers; Nightingale; Last Song.
Jørgen JERSILD (1913-2004) Three Romantic Choral Songs; My Favourite Valley; Night Rain; Tedious Winter
Ib NØRHOLM (b.1931) Americana Op. 89: Not Meagre; Snowfall in the afternoon; Song of the Demented Priest; Last Invocation; Charles Webster
Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931) arr. John HØYBE Nine Songs: Wildest Time; Often I'm Glad; Tonight; Must the Flower Wither; She has forgotten me; Lower your head Oh flower; How sweetly in the summer evening; Sunset; The Moon is slowly rising.
Academic Choir of Aarhus/Uffe Most
rec. 12-13 Sept, 3-4 Oct 2003, Lystrup Church, Danish Radio. DDD


Here Nielsen, Schulz and Jersild represent the fresh air and lightly cooling delight of Danish song. At the other extreme comes the challenge of Nørholm's modernism. It is a challenge softened by the Scandinavian choral tradition.

In the Schulz the choir, especially in the fourth song, are balm to the troubled soul. Lovely effects abound as in the little refrain 'elskede' (Beloved) in Nightingale. Everything is laid out with scrupulous loving care for the listener's receptive ears.

Jersild studied with Schierbeck (as did Schulz) and Roussel. He writes harmonically richer music as in the delicious light dissonance of the call 'Nar skal jeg dig engang i vefden' (Where in the world shall I find you) which is like a Danish echo of the sumptuous 'irradiation' of Hadley or Howells. There is more fibre in this writing that in that of Schulz.

Nørholm, a Holmboe pupil, is a master of symphonic expression. He is no mean composer of concertos (both forms are to be found on the undeservedly obscure Kontrapunkt label). His modernistic style here is meshed with the lyric tradition seemingly hard-wired into the psyches of all Danish composers. One of many highlights is the bell-dance and dazzle of mosaic in motion at .0.55 in tr 10, The song of the demented priest. These masterly songs recall the humanity and lyrical intelligence of Geoffrey Bush's choral settings. The solo voice in the first and last songs is Hanne Struck-Madsen (alto). There are two Whitman settings here.

The Nielsen songs are contemporary arrangements but tastefully done in Nielsen style. The Wildest Time is bluff fun complete with singing of the Wedding March. Often I'm Glad has that innocent hymnal feel - a work of deeper emotionality. This leads to Tonight which has the same hymnal sense but mixes in a Delian complexity. Must the flower wither has a a slightly wobbly Maria Jorgensen as the solo voice. Lower your head O flower is rather too conventional to be anything but sweet. Much the same applies to How sweetly in the summer evening. The final Moon is Slowly Rising is much more interesting even if marred by a weak tenor solo.

This is a typical Danacord product - declaring quality at every turn. The notes are in Danish and English and the translations are a model of their kind both in content and user-thoughtful layout. The only trick missed is that the booklet should have given track numbers against each poem.

Rob Barnett

Svend S. Schultz (1913-1998)
Gensyn med Danmark - 4 korsange i dansk-lyrisk stil
[ 1 ] Gensyn med Danmark(MP3 sample ) 1:27
[ 2 ] De vilde blomster 1:51
[ 3 ] Nattergalen 2:29
[ 4 ] Sidste sang 3:31

Jørgen Jersild (1913-2004)
Tre romantiske korsange for kor a cappella
[ 5 ] Min yndlingsdal 3:23
[ 6 ] Natteregn 4:03
[ 7 ] Den kedsom vinter gik sin gang 4:08

Ib Nørholm (f.1931)
Americana, op. 89
[ 8 ] Ikke blot tynde, bristefærdige grene
(Soloist: Hanne Struck-Madsen, alt) 2:43
[ 9 ] Sne om eftermiddagen(MP3 sample ) 4:07
[10] Den gale præsts sang 4:49
[11] Den sidste påkaldelse
(Solo: Lisette Matzen) 2:27
[12] Charles Webster
(Soloist: Hanne Struck-Madsen, alt) 4:26

Carl Nielsen (1865-1931)
9 sange arrangeret for blandet kor af John Høybye
[13] Den villeste 1:47
[14] Tit er jeg glad 2:23
[15] I aften 2:34
[16] Skal blomsterne da visne?
(Soloist: Maria Jørgensen, sopran) 2:07
[17] Hun har mig glemt 2:18
[18] Sænk kun dit hoved, du blomst
(Soloists: Marie Nyborg Jørgensen, sopran
Bodil-Marie Ellerup Gade, alt
Jørgen Pedersen, tenor
Tore Asbjørn Hansen, bas) 2:78
[19] Hvor sødt i sommeraftenstunden 2:19
[20] Solnedgang 2:33
[21] Sig månen langsomt hæver
(Soloist: Niels Stampe Langballe, bas)

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